The sole eyewitness, a friend of 23-year-old victim, was accompanying her in the bus. (Photo Credit: Representative Image)
A Delhi court on Monday dismissed a complaint filed by the father of one of the four death row convicts in the 2012 Nirbhaya gang rape and murder case, seeking an FIR against the sole witness in the matter for allegedly giving interviews to various news channels after charging money. The sole eyewitness, a friend of 23-year-old victim, was accompanying her in the bus when the gruesome incident took place and he had also sustained injuries.
Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Sudhir Kumar Sirohi dismissed the complaint finding there was no sufficient ground to direct the police to register an FIR, on the plea, which alleged that the act of the witness affected the case by “resulting into a media trial”.
The complaint, filed by Heera Lal Gupta, father of Pawan Kumar Gupta, had cited some recent media reports which alleged that witness charged money to appear for interviews on various news channels, his advocate A P Singh had said.
“This calls for independent investigation into the perjury that appears to have been committed by him (witness), being the sole witness, his testimony has strongly influenced the outcome of the case which led to the imposition of death penalty of the accused,” the complaint said.
Citing the reports, the advocate stated that “on the basis of said facts and circumstances, it is clear that the conduct of him clearly shows that his testimony was false and fabricated... This goes to the root of his testimony and if established would show that the testimony is in fact false.”
“It is quite clear that the sole eye witness in case has accumulated lakhs of rupees in bribe from various news channels... and thus affected the case by resulting in media trial,” the complaint stated. It said that based on witness’ “false” testimony, the accused in Nirbhaya gang rape case were convicted and given capital punishment.
The lawyer told the court that a complaint was filed with the Delhi Police to lodge an FIR in this regard. However, no action was taken.
Last month, a Delhi court had directed Tihar jail authorities to seek response from the four death row convicts in the case whether they are filing mercy pleas against their executions with the President of India. The case is likely to be taken up for hearing on January 7.
The Supreme Court, meanwhile, had dismissed the plea of Akshay Kumar Singh, one of the four convicts, saying review petition was not “re-hearing of appeal over and over again” and it had already considered the mitigating and aggravating circumstances while upholding the death penalty.
In December last year, Nirbhaya’s parents had approached the court to fast-track the procedure to hang all four convicts in the case.
The Supreme Court on December 12, 2018, dismissed a PIL seeking direction to the Centre to execute the death penalty awarded to the four convicts—Mukesh, Pawan, Vinay and Akshay.
Nirbhaya is the changed name of the December 2012 gang rape-cum-murder victim, a 23-year-old physiotherapy intern, who was raped and brutalised in a moving bus in South Delhi by six people.
The woman had boarded the nearly vacant bus in Munirka in South Delhi along with her male friend on her way back home on December 16 that year. After raping and brutalising the woman and beating her friend, the assailants had thrown them out of the bus.
After receiving initial treatment in New Delhi for a few days, she was shifted to the Mount Elizabeth Hospital in Singapore, where she succumbed to injuries on December 29, 2012.